Close to Leo
Tout contre Léo
Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Sunday, 10/19/2003
Time: 3:00 pm

Venue: Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $9

Type: Feature presentation
Language: French with English subtitles

Metro Weekly Rating: (5 out of 5)

by Randy Shulman

Close to LeoTHIS COMPELLING, artfully told story of a young gay man who learns he has AIDS and how his three brothers -- in particular the youngest, Marcel -- cope with his illness drips with French sensibility. Made for French television, it's an intimately tender, supremely acted movie that shows more than it tells.

The point of view is mainly that of Marcel's (the gifted Yannis Lespert), as he struggles to learn what exactly is wrong with Leo (the expressive and handsome Pierre Mignard), his eldest brother. The pre-adolescent Marcel is frustrated by his loving, close-knit family who deem the boy too young to know the truth.

Christophe Honore's direction is deliberate and unhurried -- until the final ten minutes, when the narrative suddenly kicks into a rush of resolution, shortchanging the patient, emotional investment we've made up to this point.

Still, this is a marvelous drama -- warm, lovely, sensual and captivating -- and it boasts some of the most ravishing shots you're likely to see in this year's festival, including one in which the four brothers cavort naked on a moonlit beach at night. It all but takes your breath away.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Internet Movie Database

Festival Venue:
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 328-6000. (map)
Directly across from Green Line Metro / U Street-Cardozo station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.